- My book Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir, from Wisconsin Historical Society Press, is $19.95 hardback, ISBN 978-0-87020-771-6. Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact the press marketing manager at 608-264-6465 or email@example.com for media, review copies and author appearances. Raven Bookstore sells books in Lawrence. Here is a link to Wisconsin Public Radio program, 48 min. and here is a review in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by Pamela Miller. Good Seeds is a national winner of The Gourmand Award in the category of “Historical Recipes.” It is an international finalist and competes in its category against winners from other countries for the Best in the World. The results will be announced on May 27 & 28, 2017 at the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony in Yantai, China.
Tom Weso 2017 Appearances:
- March 2 9:45 U of Minnesota, meet with Carter Meland’s class. 11 am meet with students and allies of the AIS organization
- March 4 Native American Literature Symposium, Minneapolis, Mystic Lake Casino, presentation of water themes in Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir
- April 28-30 Green Bay “Untitled Town Book Festival,” presentation Sun. April 30
- June 7 Madison WI talk to food club
- June 8-14 Write On Door Co. and Chief Oshkosh Native Arts, residency and event(s)
- July 6-9, 2017 Returning the Gift conference at the University of Oklahoma, American Indian literature
- Aug. 16 Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series, 6 pm with Denise Low, Johnson Co. Central Resource Library
Good Seeds is selected as one of 3 Midwest Connections Picks, by Midwest Independent Booksellers, Nov., 2016
Best of the Fall Cook Books, The Millers Tale July 21, 2016 . Nicola Miller: “‘As Weso grew up, his uncles taught him to hunt bear, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and even skunks for the daily larder:’ These recollections are what I loved most because they are filled with love and warmth, with respect for heritage and pride. He remembers foods served at the Menominee fair and the excitement of “sugar bush,” maple sugar gatherings that included dances as well as hard work. There’s memories of wild rice harvesting in the small boats and a fascinating account of how the wild rice plants react and adapt to their location. If you are interested in agri-ecology and want to learn how we as humans can achieve a less damaging relationship with our environment, Weso’s book is for you.”
The Reading Wolf blog: This is such a great book! I enjoyed learning about the history of the land and the tribe. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but I’m sure i will soon, as they seem easy enough to follow. This book takes you on a journey and immerses you in a beautiful culture and lifestyle. So many memories and beautiful tales of growing up. You really get a feel for the author as he recounts his life and immerses you chapter by chapter into his life. This book is beautiful inside and out and I loved reading it. Thank you librarything for sending me this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anna Maria Polidori, Book Reviews: Every chapter Weso remembers some anecdotes of his past. It can be his beautiful moments spent in the family with his granny, it can be the hunting of the bear, or fishing, – better a big fish than not a small one, he writes at some point because the family big and so… At the end of every chapter you will find delicious recipes that you are more than invited of trying for preparing delicious meals. A chapter I loved the one of maple syrup. I adore maple syrup! I drink it with water it’s the only way I use it I confess but I love also to explore the most diversified utilization in the American culture. From Books blog!
TV appearance in Madison, WI at NBC15 Madison Tom Weso reflected on how it is more than a food memoir. Discover the indigenous wild edibles that have impacted more than just the Menominee by watching the full interview, and by finding Good Seeds at your favorite book retailer http://bit.ly/2bShx9U
See “Good Seeds in the News” for more audio files and media links.
More praise for Good Seeds:
“In Tom Weso’s youth, a meal for his Menominee family took an entire year to plan. Eating with the seasons, you get wild game, fish, maple, berries, squash, and other delectables. But you get them only once a year. It is this sustaining way of life that Weso narrates for us in Good Seeds. These stories and recipes make us appreciate the past, make us long for woods and waters today, and make us just plain hungry.” —Heid E. Erdrich, author of Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest
“Weso tells his tale of Menominee history that began with his family in a house that had been an Indian service jail. There is necessary information here—diesel fuel gels at 40 below. Pines burst at 20 below. The whole Wisconsin winter he knew begins to thaw in Good Seeds. Weso says his grandmother used to start fire each morning. I want to say, it is Weso who starts fire, but the fire he builds is for the written word. It is language that sparks this work to life.” —Diane Glancy, poet, playwright, and author of Pushing the Bear: After the Trail of Tears
To the Menominee Indian, the “good seeds” of life are the manomin, or wild rice, that also gives the tribe its name. In this unique food memoir, tribal member Thomas Pecore Weso takes readers on a cook’s journey through Wisconsin’s northern woods. With a rare perspective as a Native American anthropologist and artist, Weso mixes a poignant personal story with the seeds of Menominee cooking traditions. He tells stories that connect each food—beaver, trout, blackberry, wild rice, maple sugar, partridge—with colorful individuals who taught him indigenous values. Weso’s grandfather Moon was a medicine man, his morning prayers the foundation for all the day’s meals. His grandmother Jennie “made fire” each morning in a wood-burning stove and oversaw huge breakfasts of wild game, fish, and fruit pies. His uncles taught him to hunt bear, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and even skunks for the daily larder. Along with authentic family recipes, Weso recalls favorite foods served at the Menominee fair and at local diners, and shares stories about reservation life in the mid-twentieth century, when many elders practiced the old ways. According to Weso, “People talk about the good old days, when things were simpler. But the old life was not simple. People had to order their day according to what nature was doing, not human desires. If it was the season to pick cranberries, my grandmother went out to the bogs and picked cranberries. She could not wait for a warm day. She had to get out when the cranberries were ripe. The land had its ceremonies, unfolding through the seasons, and people followed them.”